The World Health Organization has released a situation report on the spread of the Zika virus and its suspected link to microcephaly.
An Emergency Committee was formed under the International Health Regulations 2005 to discuss the recent increase in microcephaly and other neurological disorder cases, and their relationship to the current outbreak of ZIKV.
The Director-General announced that the cases, reported in Brazil, is a Public Emergency of International concern.
The Emergency Committee agreed that while the relationship between the Zika virus and microcephaly is ‘strongly suspected’, there is currently no scientific evidence to say they are linked.
Experts also said that an investigation into the Zika virus and microcephaly was urgent.
As of February 5 2016, 33 countries have reported cases of ZIKV, with evidence of local transmission in 6 additional countries.
WHO said that the transmission of ZIKV has been steadily increasing since being detected in the America’s in 2015.
It is considered ‘likely’ that the virus has spread through Aedes Mosquitos.
It has also been said that seven countries have reported an increase in cases of microcephaly and/or Guillian-Barré syndrome, where the Zika virus outbreak has occurred.
Microcephaly is a congenital condition that affects the development of the brain during gestation.
WHO’s global prevention and control strategy of ZIKV is based on surveillance, response activities and research.
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